Stephen Johnson | RHP, 22 yo, 6-4, 205 | 2012 Draft – 6 | (A) 45 G, 52.1 IP, 3.61 ERA, 7.1 H/9, 5.2 BB/9, 12.2 K/9
Power righty was known for triple digit velocity and a nasty slider coming out of college two summers ago. Once a starter at D-II St Edwards, he helped make up a strong Augusta bullpen this year, where his live arm racked up the strikeouts as well as the free passes. It doesn’t sound like he dials up the heat quite as much these days, and his name seems to have fallen off most Giants prospect lists. That could be a result of so many other players having breakout seasons in the organization, including the previously unknown Derek Law, that Johnson’s name now just gets passed over. Relievers and high walk rates don’t make a very good combination, but he did finish the year on a high note, earning four saves in his final 12 appearances (all scoreless) between August and September. With his frame, that fastball and devastating slider, he’s definitely a name to follow again next season in San Jose.
They said it: “Had a strikeout percentage above 30 percent thanks to a plus wipeout slider that might have been the best pitch on the GreenJackets staff…has late-inning potential if he can limit the walks even a little.” ~ David Lee